Manage Stress With These 10 Tips
Stress is the world’s number one killer. It has been attributed as one of the primary causes of life- threatening medical conditions and has pushed many people to make questionable, often fatal decisions.
But like it or not, stress is your constant companion. There are many triggers of stress in every facet of life. You cannot avoid stress, but you can manage it.
Here are the 10 best ways to manage stress:
- Exercise Regularly. Doctors are unanimous in prescribing exercise as the best way to manage stress. Exercise releases endorphins, the “feel- good” hormones. This is why many of the leaders in the world of business and politics prioritize exercise first thing in the morning.
Exercise also regulates blood sugar, maintains healthy blood pressure and strengthens the immune system. It is also a great way to relieve tension and clear the mind.
- Eat Healthy. When you eat healthy food, you give your body the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly. Junk food or those processed with refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavoring are associated with various health conditions.
These health conditions include high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, obesity and certain types of cancer. Foods that are high in sugar will create massive swings in your blood pressure and affect your mood. Processed foods have also been linked with mental illness.
- Get Enough Sleep. Sleep in an overlooked component to health and fitness but it could just be as important as exercise and diet.
You should get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. This assures your body and mind are well- rested and recovered for the following day’s activities. If you lack sleep, your ability to focus and work through solutions for pending problems will be seriously compromised.
- Do Not Over-Indulge. It is perfectly fine to go out on a night on the town with some friends. But be mindful on the extent of your revelry.
Drinking alcoholic beverages is a favorite way to de-stress by adults. But alcohol can impair your judgment. You could be enticed to participate in adventurous sexual behavior. Before you know it, you are exhibiting signs of HPV which leads to more stress.
Moderate the way you indulge. No matter how much you drink or revel, the stressors will still remain unless you address them.
- Spend Time with Your Family. In times of stress, it will benefit you to seek positive reinforcement. This is especially true if you have children.
Take them to the park, play catch, have a slice of pizza and ice cream or watch a movie. When it feels like the world is against you and that it is an evil place, your children will make you realize life is still worth fighting for.
- Avoid Toxic People. If times are getting particularly stressful, the last thing you need is more toxicity. Unfortunately, everyone has at least one toxic person in their lives.
The reality is there is more than one toxic person in our life. They could be family members, childhood friends, school mates, people in the office or associates. No one needs negative behavior or attitude that brings other people them.
- Own a Pet. There are 2 great things about pets that in many ways make them better than people:
- They will stay loyal to you.
- They will love you unconditionally.
This is why many stress- relief centers or practices involve the use of animals especially dogs and cats. Is there any wonder why cat videos are the most popular videos on YouTube?
- Go Outdoors. If you’ve spent the week cooped up in an office, a classroom or any place that has 4 walls take a change of scenery and go the great outdoors instead of Facebook.
Take a long, leisurely hike. Go trail biking. Why not row your boat down the stream? Whatever it is, take it outdoors. Shut down technology and breathe the fresh air, get awed by the scenery and appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature.
- Take Up a Creative Hobby. Do you ever hear voices in your head when you are trying to sleep? These are what psychologists call “white noise”. They manifest your anxieties, fears, doubts and self- limiting beliefs. They will also leave you with many sleepless nights.
The best way to shut off the white noise is to take up a creative hobby such as music or arts and crafts. Creativity stimulates a different part of the brain than the one you use when solving problems at work or school. It helps you relax and pre-occupies your mind with new brain activity.
- Find Your Spirituality. If you can’t manage stress physically, emotionally, mentally, perhaps the root cause is your spirituality.
There are times when everything we do seems to fall short at resolving issues and problems that we begin to question the purpose of our suffering. Sometimes the answer goes deeper than any business theory or mathematical equation.
People will often go find their spirituality to find affirmation in who they are; and what they need to do to achieve their purpose for being.
Stress should not discourage you from exploring life to the fullest. You should always dictate how you want to live your life and not be scared of its many mysteries. If you learn how to manage stress, you will realize that the best experiences have yet to be discovered.
The Many Benefits of Regular Exercise
The saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is no longer relevant in today’s age where technology has given you more things to do in the same amount of time.
People are more stressed out and become prone to adapt unhealthy habits. As a result, global obesity continues to rise to coincide with the rising number of cardiovascular related diseases. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to exercise.
It’s time for people to realize that exercise will benefit you in more ways than one. Here are the many benefits you get from regular exercise:
Exercise makes you move and movement requires coordination between your Central Nervous System (CNS), muscle tissues, bones and supporting tendons.
The more you exercise the more energy you create from stored calories. Exercise triggers this entire chain of events that helps your body become more efficient and functional.
Regardless of the type of exercise you do, you will build strength. It’s not just muscular strength. Even your bones, tendons and ligaments become stronger which lowers your risk of getting osteoporosis as you get older.
As your muscle becomes stronger, it develops the characteristics that allow it to accommodate greater work load. You build bigger, fuller and more toned muscles!
Exercise stimulates different neural pathways that become more efficient the more you train them. The end result is better overall functionality.
Your day-to-day activities such as walking, sitting, picking objects from the floor, carrying a bag on your shoulders, playing with your kids become easier and pain-free.
Increased physical activity also improves the efficiency by which your organs function. This is called metabolism. As your metabolism increases, you burn more unwanted body fat. Thus, exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Medical Health Benefits:
Excess glucose or blood sugar is stored as body fat and exposes you to the risk of developing type II diabetes. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity.
This means consumed carbohydrates are more readily stored as glycogen or muscle energy in muscle tissue. With regular exercise, you are able to convert stored glucose into energy.
Your heart is a muscle. If you don’t exercise your heart, it will get weaker. Regular exercise will reduce your level of Low Density Lipo-Proteins or LDL, the bad cholesterol and protect you from cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Exercise improves overall blood circulation. Your vital organs consistently receive nutrient-rich blood and oxygen which improve overall function. This also enhances the way your immune system functions which is why people who exercise regularly hardly get sick.
Mental Health Benefits:
With improved blood circulation, your brain is able to perform at its best. Regular exercise improves your level of cognition, increases mental alertness and reduces your risk of memory loss.
Studies have consistently shown that regular exercise can stave off dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of mental illness.
Why do you think the most successful and iconic people in business and politics today always take time to exercise? In fact, it is the first thing they do in the morning.
This list of fitness early risers includes Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group, Tim Cook of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and US President Barack Obama.
This is because exercise makes you feel good! In addition to exercise’s ability to improve cognition, it also releases mood- enhancing endorphins that helps get their day off to great start. Doctors have long prescribed exercise as the most effective way to manage stress.
There are also numerous studies that show exercise helps counter the effects of depression and lowers the risk of suicide.
Finally, when you are more attuned with what your body can do, you develop greater confidence. Of course, as you build muscle and burn fat, you start to feel more confident about the way you look. It’s easier to buy clothes that fit well and you will notice more people are appreciative of your physical changes.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
Unless you are a competitive athlete, you don’t have to exercise more than 4 days a week. 4 is a good baseline number because it leaves only 3 days in a week for inactivity.
In terms of duration, the old benchmark of 30 minutes per day of light activity may not as effective to maintain overall health and fitness. Try to put in at least 1 hour of exercise which includes 30 minutes of strength training, 20 minutes of cardiovascular activity and 10 minutes of stretching.
Find time in the day to exercise. It does not have to be at a gym. You can exercise in the park or in your own home. If you love your life, take time to care for your health. Exercise is an investment that will pay out continued dividends over the course of your life.